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Temotei
2010-06-22, 12:46 PM
Not too long ago, Flickerdart (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/member.php?u=34660) created the cunning assassin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8317151) prestige class--a variant on the current assassin, if you will. He's given me permission to post this thread, linking to his creation and giving a review.

Feel free to post your own reviews.


HD: d6

Requirements
Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Craft: Trapmaking 4 ranks
Class Features: Sneak Attack +3d6
Alignment: Any non-Lawful Good

Fairly standard, though I note the change of alignment requirement (which I support) and the addition of Craft (trapmaking).


{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special | 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th
1st | +0 | +0 | +2 | +0 | Sneak Attack +1d6, Death Attack (full round), Spells |0|||
2nd | +1 | +0 | +3 | +0 | Poison Use, Acrobatic Pinnacle|0|||
3rd | +2 | +1 | +3 | +1 | Sneak Attack +2d6, Predator's Sight (Low Light)|1|0||
4th | +3 | +1 | +4 | +1 | Invisible Spell, Trapsmith (-10)|1|0||
5th | +3 | +1 | +4 | +1 | Sneak Attack +3d6, Predator's Sight (Dark), Death Attack (standard)|2|1|0|
6th | +4 | +2 | +5 | +2 | Silent Spell, Poison Mastery|2|1|0|
7th | +5 | +2 | +5 | +2 | Sneak Attack +4d6, Predator's Sight (Tremor), Trapsmith (-5)|3|2|1|0
8th | +6 | +2 | +6 | +2 | Still Spell, Hidden Poison|3|2|1|0
9th | +6 | +3 | +6 | +3 | Sneak Attack +5d6, Predator's Sight (Life)|4|3|2|1
10th | +7 | +3 | +7 | +3 | Omnislayer, Death Attack (move) Trapsmith (-0)|4|3|2|1 [/table]

High level spells are taking a blow for class features on the cunning assassin, it looks like.


Class Skills (6+INT Modifier per level): Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Generally, this goes above the table, but that's nitpicking. However, the beginning should probably be formatted correctly, like this:

The cunning assassinís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level
(6 + Int modifier) ◊4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
6 + Int modifier.

Handle Animal seems like an odd addition to the class skill list. Is there a reason for that? Otherwise, it's pretty ordinary.


Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Cunning Assassin is proficient with all simple weapons, hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow and short sword. Cunning Assassins are proficient with light armour but not with shields.

Don't capitalize the class name in the middle of a sentence. That's probably the most common formatting error in homebrew. See here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/bard.htm) for proof.

Also, you might as well say they don't gain any new proficiencies. Rogues are the most likely to enter anyway.


Sneak Attack: As the Rogue ability of the same name. Stacks with other sources of Sneak Attack.

Lazy description, but whatever. :smallamused: As a reminder, don't capitalize class names unless you would capitalize any other word in the same situation. Don't capitalize ability names.


Death Attack (Ex): The Cunning Assassin strikes where it counts. If the Cunning Assassin studies a target within 30 feet of him for at least one round, he may make a Death Attack against that target. If the Death Attack deals Sneak Attack damage, the target must make a Fortitude save (10+ Cunning Assassin's class level + Cunning Assassin's INT modifier) or be reduced to 0hp. Every additional round in which the Cunning Assassin studies his target increases the DC by 1, up to his class level. It's a full round action to study a target. For a 5th level Cunning Assassin, it's a standard action, and for a 10th level Cunning Assassin, a move action.

Reducing a target to 0 hit points makes them next to useless, but it doesn't tamper with instant death, not only allowing you to more judiciously use assassins against PCs, but to freely change the mechanics of death attack without worrying too much about it being overpowered. I support this change.


Spells: Beginning at 1st level, the Cunning Assassin learns to cast Arcane spells from the Cunning Assassin spell list, according to the table above. The Cunning Assassin uses his Intelligence score to determine the DC of his spells and spells per day. The Cunning Assassin casts spells just like a Beguiler does.

Some [crazy] people don't have the beguiler available, so perhaps copy-pasting what this means would help. This implies there's a change to the spell list. Interesting.


Acrobatic Pinnacle (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, the Cunning Assassin gains a bonus equal to his class level to Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Swim and Tumble.

Here (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/)--check out number five. Then put a comma after "Swim." :smalltongue:

The feature itself is good.


Poison Use: A 2nd level or higher Cunning Assassin never risks poisoning himself when applying poison to a blade.

Okay. I do believe the colon should be bold, too, however.


Predator's Sight(Ex): The Cunning Assassin gains Low Light Vision at 3nd level, Darkvision (60ft) at 5th, Tremorsense (30ft) at 7th and Lifesense as a bonus feat at 9th. If the Cunning Assassin already has any of these modes of vision, double their range.

Low-light vision and darkvision are both very...meh, since several races grant one or both. Magic also often supplies one or both of them. Tremorsense is much more significant, as is Lifesense. It fits with the assassin, though, so I support this. If a cunning assassin had Lifesense before they got to 9th level, would their range with Lifesense double? It looks like it, but I'm not sure.


Invisible Spell: At 4th level, the Cunning Assassin gains Invisible Spell as a bonus feat.

Okay.


Trapsmith (Ex): At 4th level, the Cunning Assassin learns to create and use traps with greater efficiency. He pays half the normal GP and XP price when crafting a trap with a location trigger, and may deploy traps he crafts himself as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. A Cunning Assassin deploying a trap takes a -10 penalty to his Hide and Move Silently checks; this penalty becomes -5 at 7th level and disappears at 10th.

This explains the Craft (trapmaking) requirement. It's fluffy, too.


Silent Spell: At 6th level, the Cunning Assassin gains Silent Spell as a bonus feat.

Another fitting metamagic feat. Okay.


Poison Mastery (Ex): At 6th level, the Cunning Assassin makes the most of his poisons. When making a Sneak Attack with a poisoned weapon, the Assassin may reduce his sneak attack dice to add the number of dice reduced to his poison's initial DC.

Not bad. It's unique and it dances around the Master of Poisons feat.


Still Spell: At 8th level, the Cunning Assassin gains Still Spell as a bonus feat.

Okay.


Hidden Poison (Ex): At 8th level, the Cunning Assassin can poison his foes without them noticing. If he succeeds on a Sleight of Hand check with a -5 penalty opposed by the target's Spot, and then makes a successful attack with the poisoned implement (that the target is not aware of and that deals no damage) the target becomes poisoned. A poison used this way takes effect 2d6 rounds after the target has been poisoned.

Ooh. That's special. I really like this one. Right on. :smallcool:

I also support that Sleight of Hand isn't a requirement, as that would sort of force a character into being a certain type of assassin. It's more open-ended this way, methinks.


Omnislayer (Su): The Cunning Assassin's Sneak Attack and Death Attack affects all creatures, even those normally immune, as long as they are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC against him.

That "affects" should be "affect."

A nice capstone for a nice class. It's not too flashy, but at the same time, it adds a good deal of power to the class. Why is it supernatural, though?


Spell List
As standard Assassin, plus:
1st: Hold Portal, Grease, Silent Image, Ventriloquism, Reduce Person, Entangle
2nd: Phantom Trap, Blindness/Deafness, Ghoul Touch, Knock, Levitate, Rope Trick, Silence
3rd: Sepia Snake Sigil, Illusory Script, Shrink Item, Water Breathing, Keen Edge, Haste, Lesser Telepathic Bond, Meld Into Stone, Water Walk
4th: Fire Trap, Minor Creation (poisons only), Telepathic Bond, Symbol of Sleep

More spells, but less casting with those spells. I like most of these additions, too. Entangle is a bit weird to add, as is rope trick, but I can at least see where you're going with them.

Also, spell names should be italicized. It's annoying, I know. :smallamused:

Anyway, overall, I like the changes. It doesn't seem overpowered or underpowered, though I believe the cunning assassin's utility will be higher than the ordinary assassin's. I absolutely support the change to death attack, as well. I'll introduce the cunning assassin to my players in the assassin game I'm running right now. :smallcool:

Flickerdart
2010-06-22, 03:59 PM
Handle Animal was there because the original draft of the Cunning Assassin (I will capitalize it and you can't make me stop :smalltongue:) had an Animal Companion feature that granted him a number of poisonous allies (vermin and weak demons, mostly). I removed it because it seemed a little arbitrary, but the skill should be able to let the Cunning Assassin do stuff like train monkeys to poison a target's drink or something.

The capstone is (Su) because sneak attacking an amorphous enemy takes more than just skill with a blade. Felt appropriate.

Also, Flickerdart's Cunning Assassin sounds like a spell name. :smallamused:

Temotei
2010-06-22, 04:00 PM
Handle Animal was there because the original draft of the Cunning Assassin (I will capitalize it and you can't make me stop :smalltongue:) had an Animal Companion feature that granted him a number of poisonous allies (vermin and weak demons, mostly). I removed it because it seemed a little arbitrary, but the skill should be able to let the Cunning Assassin do stuff like train monkeys to poison a target's drink or something.

Eh. It's a stretch, but I'll take it.


Also, Flickerdart's Cunning Assassin sounds like a spell name. :smallamused:

Indeed. :smallcool:

Flickerdart
2010-06-22, 04:05 PM
Also, a nitpick of your nitpick: prestige classes don't get the 4x skill points clause. :smalltongue:

Temotei
2010-06-22, 04:16 PM
Also, a nitpick of your nitpick: prestige classes don't get the 4x skill points clause. :smalltongue:

D'oh! Copy-paste error. :smallamused:

Really, though, I'm betting there aren't any comments because the class isn't that different from the original assassin.

I suppose the supernatural idea works. Antimagic field will kill it though.

ZeroNumerous
2010-06-22, 04:23 PM
Flickerdart's Cunning Assassin

Here ya go.


Flickerdart's Cunning Assassin
Evocation [Force]
Level: Cleric 4, Wizard/Sorcerer 4, Bard 3, Cunning Assassin 2
Components: V, S, DF/M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Close (25ft + 5ft per level)
Effect: Magical assassin made of Force.
Duration: 1 round per level.
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

An assassin made of pure force and dual-wielding a pair of short swords springs into being within range. The assassin shares the race of the caster or may appear as a faceless humanoid wearing a thick long coat and cloak. The assassin attacks foes twice and deals 1d6 Force damage + 3d6 Sneak Attack damage (if applicable) + your casting stat per attack. The assassin has a critical threat range of 19-20 and deals x2 damage on a critical hit. The assassin uses the caster's base attack bonus (possibly gaining multiple attacks) plus the caster's casting stat (Wisdom, Charisma or Intelligence) - 2 to make it's attacks. The assassin strikes as a spell and ignores damage reduction. As a Force effect it strikes incorporeal creatures without the associated miss chance. The assassin can benefit from and assist in flanking maneuvers.

Each round after the first, you can use a move action to redirect the assassin to a new target. If you do not, the assassin continues to attack the previous roundís target. On any round that the assassin switches targets, it gets only one attack. Subsequent rounds of attacking that target allow the assassin to make multiple attacks as allowed by BAB.

An assassin cannot be attacked or harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it. An assassinís AC against touch attacks is 10.

If an attacked creature has spell resistance, you make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against that spell resistance the first time the assassin strikes it. If the assassin is successfully resisted, the spell is dispelled. If not, the assassin has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.

Flickerdart
2010-06-22, 04:26 PM
An antimagic field won't often contain elementals or undead. Golems and plants are a problem though, and oozes...bottle them up and have your trained monkey dump them in someone's tea.

Zero: I like it! :smallbiggrin:

Temotei
2010-06-22, 04:28 PM
An antimagic field won't often contain elementals or undead. Golems and Plants are dealt with rather easily with wands, and oozes...bottle them up and have your trained monkey dump them in someone's tea.

Right on, dawg. :smallamused:

Nice spell.

Milskidasith
2010-06-22, 05:10 PM
Is the death attack time the action he needs to take to study the target, and his death attack part of his next attack, or is it always a full round action to study, and the amount of time it takes to actually strike either full round, standard, or move?

ZeroNumerous
2010-06-22, 05:12 PM
Is the death attack time the action he needs to take to study the target, and his death attack part of his next attack, or is it always a full round action to study, and the amount of time it takes to actually strike either full round, standard, or move?


It's a full round action to study a target. For a 5th level Cunning Assassin, it's a standard action, and for a 10th level Cunning Assassin, a move action.

Bolding mine.

It seems kind of obvious.